Our Curriculum

I know the date says Monday, since that's the date I started this. But really I finished it today, Thursday!

Since I've shown you our schoolroom, introduced you to my "students", and described our group time, I wanted to give you a rundown of our curriculum outside of group time.

Lulu, 7th grade, is working on the following:

Math-U-See Pre-Algebra-we really like Math-U-See's program. The teacher's guide makes it simple to teach new concepts and the DVDs are great because the kids can listen to someone else teach it as well. If the parent is unsure about something, watching the DVD can help, also. One of the main reasons we chose this program was because of the capability of using their manipulatives through Algebra. We plan on sticking with this curriculum with all the kids throughout the high school years.

Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science (We use the notebooking/lapbooking/lab forms from Knowledge Box Central.)

Beautiful Feet Ancient History Study Guide and the books suggested that go along with it.

Easy Grammar 6 and Daily Grams 6-we do this during group time with Blakester. They are really liking it. I'm pretty sure this will be what I use from now on with the oldest two.

Critical Thinking Company's Building Thinking Skills-Book 3 Figural-this is one of her favorite things to do. She usually wants to work ahead. I guess because it's more fun than work.

Dover Coloring Book-Human Anatomy-She does one page a week. Each page gives a diagram of a part of the body, a detailed description and a color key to follow. The kids enjoy this brand of coloring books because the drawings are more realistic and include written details about the subject.

For literature she's currently reading Watership Down by Richard Adams. I assign certain books to read each term, but they also are able to pick books from their book list or off the shelf for free reading.

Blakester, 4th grade, is working on the following:

Math-U-See Delta-he is only about 8 weeks away from completing his 4th grade book and then we'll move right into the 5th grade book.

Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the 6th Day by Jeannie Fulbright. This is from their elementary science program. We use the notebooking pages printed from the website along with it. Again, this is a keeper. We'll use Apologia Science throughout high school. Next year, I plan on teaching the boys together for science.

He is also reading Christian Liberty Press' Nature Reader 4.

For California History I'm using the workbooks from Starline Press. They integrate a character trait in each book. This is not the curriculum I started with. We used a different company for his westward expansion study at the beginning of the year; however, I did not care for their California History after I received it. Sooo...I found this on the Homeschool Reviews swap board for a really decent price. So far, so good. It starts out by explaining our universe and solar system and where California is in relation to it all. In addition, he's reading some historical fiction/non-fiction on pioneers. His current book is The Journal of Douglas Allen Deeds-The Donner Party Expedition from the Dear American Series.

Critical Thinking Company Building Thinking Skills Level 2

Rod & Staff Handwriting 4

His current literature assignment is Gentle Ben by Walt Morey. I feel blessed because all of my children are readers.

I also have each kid read aloud something of their choice to me once a week.

We use the workbox system to keep things in order and add some fun to the day. Here's some items he had today in his workboxes. (I was going to post pics, but it's late & I haven't loaded them):

  • Owl Pellet Biology Kit from Rainbow Resource. His assigned experiment was to dissect owl pellets, and it's very handy that you can purchase a ready-to-go kit! So far, in one pellet he found 3 skulls and a bunch of teeny-tiny bones. He has to finish that pellet and then he has a second one to work on and then he can try to identify the bones.

  • Mazes on Mars book. A fun maze book with facts about space and Mars.

  • Blast Off! file folder trivia game I found a while back at the dollar store.

Conman's day is structured as follows:

Math-U-See-Beta-I've discovered if I take the worksheet out of the book he's more likely to complete it without complaint. There's something about having the whole book sitting there that intimidates him.

I'm doing a little science with him from Guesthollow.com. She's put together a science lesson plan that I've condensed & tweaked that covers the human body, five senses, etc. Each week we read some books about what we're studying, maybe do an experiment or online activity and then add that body part to an outline we drew of Conman on butcher paper.

He's also reading through Christian Liberty Press' Nature Reader 2.

We're not really doing a set history lesson right now. We've worked on continents, oceans, states & capitals, and he listens in on Blake's readings. When this year is through, hopefully he'll be more ready to sit for a set history lesson.

Critical Thinking Company Building Thinking Skills Level 1

For handwriting and grammar we use Queen Homeschool's Copywork for Little Boys and Language Lessons for the Very Young. We alternate days on these. Each book will probably last us longer than a year. I sometimes have him do other copywork such as Draw Write Now or just copying his address. Copywork is something that Charlotte Mason believed strongly in, and I feel it's a good way for him to practice handwriting without continually doing worksheets.

His current literature reading is My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. He reads at least one chapter a day, sometimes more if he's in the mood.

His workboxes today had a few fun things:

  • A Telling Time Bingo Game-again, games are better than worksheets for him.
  • An alphabetizing robot file folder game that I downloaded from filefolderfun.com. This week he's discovered he loves learning with file folder games, so I need to load up on them! The other kids were working on some alphabetizing this week and he was struggling with the basics on paper. Being able to manipulate those little robots around seemed to really help!

I think I've covered all the bases. There's always something new and fun waiting out there for us to try-I'll keep you posted!

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